Intelligent ERP: Myth or Reality? Part 2 of 4 – A Look at Going Paperless within the Enterprise

“Going Paperless” is a term that we hear being discussed more and more in conversations relating to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP systems) and business software in general. As solutions that enable enterprises to go paperless becomes more predominant, we have ‘borrowed’ a series of blogs from Sage ERP X3 to explore the issue. Hope you enjoy this introduction to Intelligent ERPs.

By Isabelle Saint-Martin, ERP Product Marketing Manager, Sage Mid-market Europe

This is the second in my series of four blog posts about intelligent ERP and the impact on businesses.

Collaborative management, paperless environments and workflow processes for optimized data circulation

Historically confined to certain sectors with large data flows, going paperless is now of key importance to all enterprises and goes hand-in-hand with trends linked to personal usage. Alongside ERP which manages structured data, now non-structured data and interconnections with document based systems have to be taken into account. In parallel, changes in processes and modes of organization, in particular the prevalence of project mode opens up the dimension of transverse collaboration in shared exchange spaces via portals.

These changes along with growth of the paperless office and tougher traceability requirements have impacted on ERP. Going beyond connecting users to information systems, it is now necessary to facilitate interactions, optimize data and document sharing and ensure archiving of proof of transactions.

Applied to a company’s internal and external processes, workflows rationalize management operations and make for smoother information flows while simplifying controls. Workflow configuration enables adaptation to the specific nature of an enterprise’s practices. This automation streamlines processes which traditionally involve handling large numbers of documents.

Companies can initiate the sending of emails and attachments where recipients can take action by simply clicking on a link. For example, to approve or reject a purchase request.

Integrating a document management system into an ERP solution strengthens its relevance; the associated documents can be indexed and stored securely in an appropriate “digital safe” and linked in with management documentation.

Enterprises are expressing a keen interest in going paperless, especially in terms of digitising inbound documents and automated/assisted reconciliation solutions, referencing outbound documents and other techniques that help ensure the probative value of documents, for example digital signatures. ERP can meet these needs via integrated tools or external interconnected tools. However, encapsulating solutions like this in ERP requires exceptional technical openness in order to ensure application connectivity at lower software levels.

For more information about Sage ERP X3 EDM Solution, click here

Read my first blog in this series on responsive decision making.

Previously posted at the Sage ERP X3 blog.